By Katie Forster – Independent – May 8, 2017
Small-scale study on humans aged 60 to 70 planned for later this year
The chemical in cannabis that makes people feel ‘high’ appears to improve learning and memory in older mice, a new study has found – with similar tests on humans planned for later this year.
Researchers gave a low dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to mice of different ages as part of a new study investigating the brain systems involved in the ageing process.
They tested the rodents’ memory and found that after the old mice received THC, their powers of recollection matched those of young mice who had not been given anything.
Andras Bilkei-Gorzo, who led the study published in the journal Nature Medicine, said he is now organising a small-scale study of around 100 volunteers aged 60 to 70 to find out if similar effects are seen in humans.
“THC restored the cognitive ability of the old mice to the level of the young ones,” he told The Independent.
With age, the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which affects mood, memory and sensations such as pain and is also receptive to marijuana compounds, “actively declines,” he said. “Giving THC artificially activates the system in the old [mice]. It can restore signalling to a normal level.”
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